Capitol Hill Update: January 28, 2019


The House and Senate are in session this week.


On Friday, the Senate and the House passed a short-term continuing resolution (CR), H.J.Res. 28, to reopen the departments, agencies, and programs affected by the partial government shutdown. Now, the CR funds these parts of the government for only three weeks, through February 15. The Senate and House also moved to go into conference on H.J.Res. 31, which is the vehicle for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill.

The conference committee will spend the next few weeks trying to come to an agreement on border security. The DHS appropriations bill will be prioritized over the other six appropriations bills that are subject to the February 15 deadline. The Senate conferees are Sens. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Jon Tester (D-Mont.). The House conferees are Reps. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), David Price (D-N.C.), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Kay Granger (R-Texas), Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.), Tom Graves (R-Ga.), and Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.).

The House returns today. Legislative business begins at 2:00 pm. Votes are expected at 6:30 pm. There are ten bills on coming to the floor on suspension.

  • H.R. 624, Promoting Transparent Standards for Corporate Insiders Act
  • H.R. 502, FIND Trafficking Act
  • H.R. 56, Financial Technology Protection Act
  • H.R. 424, Department of Homeland Security Clearance Management and Administration Act
  • H.R. 495, FIRST State and Local Law Enforcement Act
  • H.R. 428, Homeland Security Assessment of Terrorists’ Use of Virtual Currencies Act
  • H.R. 449, Pathways to Improving Homeland Security at the Local Level Act
  • H.R. 504, DHS Field Engagement Accountability Act
  • H.R. 769, Counterterrorism Advisory Board Act
  • H.Res. 77, Expressing the sense of Congress that financial institutions and other companies should work proactively with their customers affected by the shutdown of the Federal Government who may be facing short-term financial hardship and long-term damage to their creditworthiness through no fault of their own

The only rule bill on the floor this week is the Federal Civilian Workforce Pay Raise Fairness Act, H.R. 790. The bill, which will be considered on Wednesday, would give civilian employees at 2.6 percent pay increase, retroactive to the beginning of 2019. The House Rules Committee will meet on Tuesday at 3:00 pm to consider the rule governing consideration of the bill. No votes are expected in the House on Thursday and Friday.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will release the Budget and Economic Outlook at 10:00 am. This is a regular report that the CBO provides that shows spending and revenue projections for the current year, as well as the next ten years. CBO Director Keith Hall will appear before the House Budget Committee at 10:00 am to testify on the report. The Senate Budget Committee will host Director Hall at 2:30 pm.

The committee schedule for the week is here.


The Senate returns on Monday at 3:00 pm to resume consideration of the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act, S. 1. This is not an accidental copy and paste job from last week’s update. S. 1 will be back on the floor next week. Democrats had largely blocked consideration of the bill while parts of the government were shut down. Just a reminder of what this bill does. It combines three pieces of legislation (S. 2497, H.R. 2646, and H.R. 1677) that passed the House or Senate by vote voice in the previous Congress. It also includes another bill from the previous Congress (S. 170), which would have allowed state and local governments to divest from businesses that promote boycotts, divestments, or sanctions against Israel.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will consider the nomination of William Barr to serve as the next attorney general at its business meeting on Tuesday. The meeting begins at 10:00 am. Republicans have a thin margin on the committee, but no defections are expected. It’s unclear when Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) plans to bring Barr’s nomination to the floor. Forty judicial nominees are the Senate Judiciary Committee’s agenda for Tuesday. The list includes six nominees to appellate courts. Naomi Rao, who has been nominated to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is not on the list for Tuesday. Nominees to the U.S. Court of International Trade, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and the U.S. Marshals Service are also on the agenda.

The committee schedule for the week is here.